The Cambridge Cycling Campaign journey planner went live in the early hours of 27 June 2006. Back then it based its routes on a network which was traced over satellite photos of the streets of Cambridge. That network started off with only around 2,000 streets, and that provided a way for users to join the project and add their own traces to the map network.

Tracing Routes over Satellite Images
Early development: Tracing Routes over Satellite Images

By the time we switched to the Open Street Map data source these hand traced maps covered over 5,000 streets and it was no longer practical to support that behaviour. Now the CycleStreets system uses a map of around one million streets!

Auto-generated route signs from the Centre of Cambirdge
Auto-generated route signs from the centre of Cambridge

The journey planner evolved from a program that was written to work out where to place helpful signs on cycle routes, and which also worked out what text should appear on them. That was also a very useful program that we hope to resurrect in an on-line version one day, (given some funding).

CycleStreets continues to develop daily, and the most recent change has been a simpler and more manageable method of importing data from the OpenStreetMap project for converting into a routeable cycle network.

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